BMI or Body Mass Index is a mathematical formula derived by Adolphe Quetlette in the mid 1800s. Yes, that's right folks the BMI is over 200 years old.
BMI is s a value derived from the mass (weight) and height of an individual. The BMI is defined as the body mass (your weight) divided by the square of the body height in meters.
For example I am 168 cm tall (1.68 meters), and I weigh (at last weigh in) 79 kg my BMI is 79/2.8224 = 27.99 according to the body mass index table, I am over-weight.
As a healthy, active individual - it's clear that the BMI isn't taking much of my lifestyle into account, so let's look at what is wrong with BMI:
There is no physiological reason to square someone's height.
This part of the formula alone is bunkum. It's basically there to massage the numbers!
The "Formula" was designed to assess the collective mass of an entire population
Quetlette was purportedly attempting to study the mass of the population of Belgium. Not assess the fatness of individuals.
It doesn't take into account more accurate measures of health
The BMI doesn't actually measure fat - a Dexa scan is currently the only accurate way of measuring body fat.
It doesn't take into account waist to hip ratios - which are commonly regarded as a good indicator of health
Nor does it take into account the weight of muscle vs fat....
The categories of underweight, overweight, and obese are bunkum
Sweepingly applying a label to all bodies based on a mathematical equation that to begin with makes no sense is, well, nonsense.
If that isn't enough to convince you that that particular number on paper is a very poor summation of your overall health, I'm not sure what else will....
Photo Credit: Charlotte Astrid